Scientific research into pet allergies tell us that, while not impossible, it’s much less common for pets to have food allergies than you might expect. While food allergies are rare in pets, it is true that chicken is one of the most common foods to trigger an allergic response.
A true allergy is an immune response to an antigen (protein). In some cases, that protein can come from food. Determining the culprit for your pet’s allergy requires a long process of food elimination through rigorous trials, as there is no simple and reliable way to test a pet for food allergies.
Sometimes it is easy to mistake food sensitivities for food allergies. Sensitivities are more common than allergies, and do not involve the immune system. Instead, they are triggered by the digestive system and are generally less serious.
Sometimes, people with the best intentions, try to find different foods they believe will alleviate their pet’s problem. Often, that means switching to foods that have “limited’ ingredients, but there is no official definition of what that means. Therefore, each brand is free to decide how to market their “limited” ingredient foods in a way they believe will help them sell more food. Because these foods are often made in the same plants on the same equipment, even they might not provide the benefit owners are searching for.
It is important to work with your veterinarian to determine whether or not your pet has a true food allergy or if they are exhibiting signs of a food sensitivity. You can begin the process by keeping a food diary for your pet. Don’t forget to include any treats or table scraps you feed.
After working with your veterinarian, if it is determined that your pet is affected by a food allergy, Hill’s has carefully developed recipes that might be just right for your pet. These foods are made with proteins that have been hydrolysed, or broken into smaller pieces, so that the immune system cannot recognize or react to them, thereby avoiding an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right food for your pet.